About Me

Monday, December 1, 2008

First world Second world, Third world?

A while ago, Gellman did his blog bat around thing that got a pretty good response. I meant to add a post to the list, but never got around to it. Well here is my take on it. A lot of this can be found in other posts, and I may have written a post like this before, but who cares?

Why I collect:
I have stated before that I started collecting in 1983. A few packs of Topps, still remember how the gum tasted. I collected Baseball and bought my first pack of Football to collect them in 1987. I had bought some Fleer Action cards before that.

Growing up in Oregon is tough from a sports persepective, we have the Blazers. Meh. We have the Beavers. They didn't have a winning season for 30 years or something like that. The Ducks, never quite got to the top of the mountain. The seahawks have got to be the most boring football team ever. Even when they play a team I like to watch the games are boring. They are mac and cheese without the cheese.

I collect now because, I know its cheesy, it creates a reference point in what I do. Players come and go, the uniforms change, but it is a slow process. Frankly I like to see Brett Favre out there every Sunday. I was in Austin, TX when he announced his retirement. I was actually a bit dissappointed. When the last of the Baseball players from my childhood retires it will be odd. Junior, Maddux, Thomas, those guys. Its just another chapter I suppose, Helton is still around, there will be other players.

My job is super stressful, it requires thinking all the damn time, it is so freaking serious and collecting is an escape. It is a lot of fun, even though I spend a lot of money, I do enjoy it. I don't build sets anymore. Though sorting my cards for the give away almost got me to reconsider. Then reality hit and I decided I don't want to lug the crap around with me. I was digging through my boxes in the garage, there they were, two 88 fleer tin sets and 1 87. Maybe 30 cards out of those sets I actually want. I still like getting factory sets from my parents for Christmas.

In a lot of ways I collect the same now as I did then. I open packs, pull out the cards I want, put them in sheets and put the others in a box. I just don't build sets. Nobody ever asks how many 1990 fleer Paul Gibsons I have. Some of the players I remember, some I don't. Now there is no one to trade with, nobody to talk cards with. So I am left to my own collecting devices.

Now that my budget is much bigger than it used to be I can buy boxes, star cards, etc. I can get some big hits, but I like the small ones too.

So where does that put me? Well, Gellman only likes the big hits. That's great he has found his collecting niche. No need to waste money or time with cards you don't want. He doesn't care about base, doesn't care about small time jerseys or autos and he considers himself a second world collector. Good for him. Others are set builders. They enjoy doing it, spend their time and money chasing down those SP's. They buy blasters and boxes and bust them hoping to get the set. The hits are a bonus. They care about the base and buy the cards primarily for that. They seem to love A & G. Frankly, I don't get the A & G. They are the same exact cards every year and they are expensive. First Worlders.

I proclaim myself as a third world collector. I do care about the base stars. I do look at completing jersey sets. I like the 57-58 variation jerseys in the 07-08 topps basketball. I might even be close to a set. I like the big hits. I bust wax to get them, but not usually a case at a time. I am just as psyched over a Kobe single color jersey as I am a super hot rookie auto. Just depends on how much I spent on the box. I love the Topps TX Pro Bowl Jerseys /249 and /49. There is a theme, they were the stars that year, they are cheap, and they are somewhat limited.

With my wax hits, I just want to have heard of the guy. The Free agent rookie auto annoy the hell out of me. I hate when I buy a box and get nothing but junk worthless hits that I would probably buy if I found them for a couple dollars on Ebay. Its more dissappointment with return rather than the card itself, however, fifty different combinations of rookie event worn jerseys make building the set expensive or impossible. I think that puts me squarely in the conundrum collector realm.

This post wasn't orgainzed, nor was it meant to be. It is indicative of how I meander through collecting.


Aron said...

All the cards I have are from the "worthless era" early 90's. I still paid $2 or $3 per pack back in the day for them...if only I knew then what I know now. I want to get back in, but I don't even know where to start.

GCA said...

If you'd like to get back into trading, and don't mind sitting in front of a PC (especially if you do it all day), then I'd suggest joining one of the online forum boards or trading groups. I'm active in only one group on Yahoo!, but I have all the trades I can handle. Now, I'm a set builder, and most of the people in this particular group are too, but I'm sure you could find a group who collects similar to you.

stusigpi said...

The comment about having no one to trade with illustrates how collecting changes when you become an adult.